Bald Eagle

Winter Day On The Connecticut River

Monday started out with the temperature at -5, very windy, and deep snow due to the 3 major storms New England has just had. In general a day to hide inside, but I filled my pack and went down to the Connecticut river.

After a short 1/4 mile walk up river I spotted a Bald Eagle in a tree
near a small spot of open water. Eagles will seek out any open
areas, not frozen, since ducks and geese will be nearby.

In typical fashion as soon as I had pushed through the snow and was within range of a long distance photo he dropped from the tree and flew over the river.
It was bitter cold so I ended the eagle hunt, headed for home, and
satisfied myself with some small bird activity and warm coffee.  The small birds are not hard to find, but difficult to shot since they’re always in motion.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

The second part of the day was off to hike the hills around Gillette Castle.

The following images were taken from the Castle cat walk over
looking the Connecticut river. It’s frozen solid here as far as you can
see, which is several miles. An eagle came by but he was too fast and low to see until he was past and on the horizon.

(People visit this site from many different places so here is some Gillette Castle info. A subject for another time here.)

On the walk back down the hill we did meet a Red Shoulder Hawk in a cedar thicket. He sat long enough for a few quick shots, then quickly flew off toward the Connecticut river bank below.

Red Shoulder Hawk
Red Shoulder Hawk

The last of our planned stops for the day was the Chester/Hadlyme
ferry landing on the river below Gillette. Connecticut has the 2 oldest ferries in the US. This ferry and the Rocky Hill ferry up river. Several earlier posts on this site were taken at Rocky Hill which I visit ofter.

(These links, Hadlyme Ferry and Rocky Hill Ferry , provide more information)

At the end of the day, heading home from the ferry, I caught a familiar shape far off in the trees as we drove past a bend in the river. We quickly drove down a side road and were greeted by the sight below.

IMG_6084-1A pair of Bald Eagles were hunting from the trees hanging over the river. We were able to photograph them for quite a long time before they flew off to the woods on the far side of the river.

IMG_6099-1

Bald Eagle Connecticut River
Bald Eagle Connecticut River

Some days the New England winters are not all that bad.